Now that Kevin Keegan has taken over at Newcastle, it’s time to kick their transfer speculation into fifth gear.
First up, the Daily Star has said that Newcastle are set to launch an 18 million pound bid for Manchester United’s Michael Carrick, I’m doubtful about United selling a player who, despite being part of the midfield rotation, is still a key member of the squad. If they needed the money, that’d be one thing, but they don’t.
Next up, the Sunday Express said that King Kev wants to bring Sol Campbell in as his first signing, which is being denied, denied, denied by Portsmouth.
And then, there’s the Daily Record in Scotland, which says that Newcastle are interested in Dundee United captain Barry Robson. The 29-year old midfielder scored 12 goals last season, and is already nearing that mark this term. The Daily Mirror reports that Championship side Burnley are set to make a 750,000 pound bid for Robson, which Newcastle should have no problem matching or beating, but they may have to battle with Celtic to get him.
And hey, we can’t forget about Micah Richards, Deco, Daniel Van Buyten, Pascal Chimbonda, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Wayne Bridge, Jermain Defoe, David Bentley, and Wes Brown (for some of those and more, you can go here).
Tottenham are set to snap up experienced Brazilian defender Gilberto from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. The 31-year old, who is a left back but plays in midfield for club and country, could move to England either immediately or in the summer, which is when his contract expires. He has two dozen caps for Brazil, and scored in the 2006 World Cup against Japan.
Tottenham, who are expected to wrap up a 9 million pound deal for Tiago Mendes very soon, are also being linked with Valencia castoff Miguel. The Portuguese right back’s affinity for the nightlife has damaged his standing with Ronald Koeman, and could come to England in a deal involving cash and the unsettled Tottenham right-back Pascal Chimbonda.
In more Tottenham news, keeper Paul Robinson has handed in a transfer request, according to the Daily Mail, but won’t be allowed to leave until the summer.
Tottenham are also being linked with Alan Hutton once again, but don’t hold your breath on that one.
As for one of London’s other clubs, Fulham are being linked with more forwards after their move for Marlon King might have hit a snag because of an issue related to a previous knee injury. The Guardian has Groningen striker Erik Nevland set to make a return to England a decade after he moved to Manchester United as a teenager. The Cottagers made a 2.5 million pound bid for Rangers striker Daniel Cousin rejected, and Roy Hodgson is waiting to see what happens with Eddie Johnson’s work permit case. If that doesn’t work out, then Cho Jae-Jin is an option, after impressing during a trial.
While Davis might be on his way away from Fratton Park, the agent of Milan Baros and Patrik Berger say that both could be on their way there. According to Pavel Paska, former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Baros, currently at Lyon, is already the subject of a written offer from Pompey. The 26-year old hasn’t had the best of times in France, to say the least.
As for Berger, the 34-year old midfielder could be making a return to the club where he played from 2003-05, and Paska says that Redknapp wants him, but the stumbling block is that Villa don’t want to lose anymore players right now. However, his contract does run out in the summer, so Portsmouth might get him later rather than sooner.
I’ll avoid the obvious Czech joke while mentioning that Pompey have brought in two Czech youngsters in on trial, 19-year old striker Adam Hlousek of FK Jablonec, and 18-year old Libok Kozak of Opava.
Speaking of Baros’ current club, they’re closing in on the signing of defender Jean-Alain Boumsong from Juventus. While Newcastle might be linked with almost every player in Europe in the next week or so, it’s safe to say that he won’t be one of them, unless Keegan is into playing cruel practical jokes on the club’s supporters.
And for the final run through – Everton are being linked with a 2 million pound move for Portsmouth’s Sean Davis…Bundesliga side Wolfsburg have signed Japanese midfielder Makoto Hasebe from Urawa Red Diamonds…Inter have issued a hands-off warning on anyone who wants star defender Douglas Maicon…News of the World says that Manchester City and Aston Villa are interested in Real Madrid’s Julio Baptista…Lille have signed midfielder Rio Mavuba from Villareal…the MLS’ L.A. Galaxy are being linked with former Newcastle man Celestine Babayaro, who’s currently unemployed after being released by the club in December.